Saturday, April 9, 2016

Learning to SEE

In my consulting business I see missed focus and missed opportunity all the time. The chaos of day-to-day survival in the corporate world makes remaining focused really, really hard. People who have been introduced to lean are pumped about implementing tools. They come back from a conference or training wanting to change the world - make a difference - let's get going! The missing ingredient is “learning to see”. Not everything is a hammer or a nail. Just because you have a tool does not mean you have to use it all the time. Take the time to "See" where to start the journey. "See" what’s really going on, not what’s supposed to happen. "Listening" to ideas from the people doing the work. "See" what’s adding value to the customer. "See" what can leadership can do and say to move the process forward today.

I’m tempted to fall into this chaos trap myself. When visiting a business, I’ll often spot an opportunity to apply something I’ve learned while running the restaurant, or from the world of manufacturing. It's really tempting to stop and spew my "great" ideas. It’s totally painful not to point these ideas out to business leaders right then and there - on the spot. While it may be a great thought or idea, it’s essential as a consultant or coach to remember implementing change is like feeding the birds

Christian Mickelsen pointed out these 3 insights from watching people feed the birds;

#1) When you chase anyone, their instinctive reaction is to run away. Even when you chase them with something they want!

#2) When you toss out a few tasty bits, you start attracting to the point of having them eating out of the palm of your hand.

#3) When overwhelmed they moved on, even though there is “all you can eat” right in front of them!

So the strategy for implementing change in your business is the same as attracting customers to your business. Feed them a little bit at a time until you have established yourself as the trusted go-to person for what they are looking for.


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